Don't say that I did not warn you...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Unless you've been on a media blackout, you've probably heard about the Ashley Madison scandal. Ashley Madison is a disgusting website where married people can find other married people to have affairs with. Ashley Madison promised their millions of customers (yes millions of them!) that this was a private thing. They even charged customers a fee to delete their accounts from their servers forever.  We have now learned that this was not true. Hackers hacked in and released the names, addresses and other very personal information about their past and present customers including what kind of sexual adventures they were looking for. I warned my readers to tell their kids that nothing on the internet is private in March 2014 in my blog.  Everything on here is stored somewhere forever!  Even my silly ranting blog posts. Forever! Here is a repost of my March 2014 blog where I warned you..

A Social Media Cautionary Tale...(originally posted in March 2014)

   Last week I wrote about my decision to keep my blog anonymous. However, just because you're "anonymous" or your settings on your social media sites are "private", does not mean that what you write might not get you in trouble one day.

   Without getting into a legal discussion, please know that whatever you post on the internet can be discovered if you're ever a party to a lawsuit. A judge is very likely to make you produce anything that you have posted to the internet, even if anonymous or "private".  This applies to what your family posts too.

  Recently, 69 year old Patrick Snay learned this the hard way.  Snay was the headmaster of a fancy prep school here in Miami but a few years ago, the school did not renew his contract and he sued for age discrimination. The school settled with him and agreed to pay $10,000 in back wages plus $80,000 for other damages and pay his attorneys fees. It was a win for him. The agreement contained a confidentiality clause prohibiting him from talking about the case.  These clauses are often standard in settlement agreements.

   Snay's daughter Dana was so excited about the results of her father's case, that she could not resist posting this to her 1200 Facebook friends immediately after it was agreed to.

“Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver.
Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”

Supposedly this is a photo of Ms. Snay (source Yahoo! Shine)

   Besides making her parents so proud with her classy Facebook photo and post, she cost them $80,000. The school's  lawyers found out about the post within four days of the settlement and successfully asked the Court to invalidate the  agreement. The Florida appeals Court ruled that the settlement agreement was violated and that the school did not have to pay  the Principal.( The case can still be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court)

    You've probably seen the news stories about people posting their illegal acts online and it leading to problems for them ( example:  Miami Fraternity was suspended from campus after posting about drug dealing and hazing) and how posting about what you're doing can lead to people robbing you (example: woman's home was robbed after she posted that she was going out to see a concert. The burglars were her Facebook "friends" ) but did you know that it is possible that comments that you make on your blog or others can 
also get you in trouble?

   Courts have found that bloggers may have a free-speech right to write what they want to online but are not protected from being sued for their comments, even if posted anonymously!  If a Court finds that your online comments are defamatory, you could be liable for them. The legal line drawn is between "opinion" and "fact". If you call your ex-boyfriend a "liar or a loser", that is likely to be found to be an opinion and free speech. But if you write something like ,"Dr. Jones is the worst dentist. He overcharges people and performs work that does not really need to be done", it could be found to be defamatory. 

    So tread likely and think before you hit "enter". 


Anonymous said...

That is great advice! -jo

vivian said...

The internet is a crazy place... I'm amazes at how fast we can access info about anything and how we can connect with peopla around the world in an instant. I don't understand how it works but I am awed by it. and I agree we should be careful of what we put out here. some people are clueless though! Speaking of the internet and computers my computer bit the dust! Hopefully will buy a new one soon. Til then my blogging days are a bit on hold. I can cime on on my nook, but that's a pain in the butt! So hopefully I'll be back up and running soon! Have a great day my friend!

angryparsnip said...

Great post as always.
Even though I try to be careful, I need to start being more careful I think.

Boys back in school yet ?

cheers, parsnip

Janie Junebug said...

I warned my children long ago not to admit to any kind of illegal activity, and not to write something in an email that they didn't want the world to know.


Susie said...

Japolina, I try to tell people ...if you would not send it to your grandmother...don't send it to anyone.....cause grandma's going to see it one day. LOL. I remember a story from one of my fellow co-workers...he said his best buddy was cheating on his wife...went to a bar, picked up a pretty girl, all lovely dovey in a back booth kissing and pawing one another...the cheating man grab the girl's crouch and she was ..a man !!! Serves him right, is what I say. If the cheaters would put into their own marriages that extra effort...they would not want to cheat. Dogs !!! xoxo,Susie

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